The Pakistani fishmonger whose melodic sales pitch at a London market went viral and landed him a record deal
has received a hero's welcome on his return to his native eastern Pakistan
Charismatic newcomer Muhammad Shahid Nazir also is denying reports that British authorities deported him, suggesting instead that the married father of four is preparing to take his show on the road.
Nazir is quoted as saying
he has a visa but is in Pakistan to apply for a French visa to help promote his single after its release in France.
The most successful of the Youtube clips
that vaulted Nazir to Internet notoriety -- showing "One-Pound-Fish Man" belting out his catchy Punjabi-inflected ditty to lure shoppers -- has attracted more than 6.7 million hits.
The slick Warner Music video that followed
has gotten more than 8.2 million hits in the two weeks since its release on December 10.
Nazir's song has already reached number 29
on the Official U.K. Singles Chart.
Nazir's family and hometown are proud of his sudden fame.
Wife Kashifa -- who stayed in Pakistan along with their four children when Nazir went to the United Kingdom, reportedly to study business -- says she doesn't even mind his dancing with scantily clad girls in the music video. "I have no problem with this nor am I getting jealous. He performed the song and it was a requirement for the video," she told AFP.
His song and its infectious "Come on ladies, Come on ladies, One-pound fi-i-ish!" refrain can be heard across his dusty native town in eastern Punjab, Pattoki, where shops blast it from powerful speakers (see video
Nazir's singing inspired the #onepoundfishman hashtag and his @Real1PoundFish Twitter handle has more than 32,000 followers.
-- Abubakar Siddique